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OTHER ITA SITES:
Summer Holidays Were Invented For Fishing
I remember as a small kid growing up in England I couldnt wait for the summer holidays to arrive,as the days drew closer I could hardly sleep at night knowing that any day now we would be packing our suitcases and heading to the caravan site for the whole summer, 6 weeks without any school,life was just great.
When the big day arrived we headed out of our house to the bus stop to catch the bus to Pickmere(back in the early seventies we didn't have a car,noboby did at least not in the council estate in Stretford, Manchester where we grew up),we were poor and didn't know it,we were happy.I remember getting on that bus to Pickmere like it was yesterday,the smell of old leather seats and old ladies hair spray and all the men would wear old spice and have there hair slicked back with brylcreem.
As the bus pulled out of the bus stop my brother Russell and I had one mission in mind, to get a look under benches for money that had fell out of the pockets of the mens trousers as they sat in there seats as they travelled along,we were never disapointed in our finds,all the money went for one reason and it wasnt for sweets(candy)it was for the reason summer holidays was invented "FISHING".
When the bus FINALLY turned off of Chester rd onto Pickmere lane we knew our summer holidays,filled with endless hours of fishing were just about to get under way,we exited the bus on the corner of pickere lane and walked the final half mile down Mere lane to platts farm (where we and other family members had caravans that we had purchased)passing the post office with the only food store within walking distance we knew we had finally arrived.
Within minutes of arriving we would leg-it down to the pond that was on the caravan site to see what kind of action if any was going on,very rare was it that some old timer wasn't down there with something to show us in his keep net"hey mister what you caught",we would both ask in unison,"come on give us a look then" we'd say.And just like any fisherman he was more than happy to show off his "catch",upon seeing the mans catch we would tair of to go get our fishing tackle out of the shed,dust off the cob webs and try and scrounge up some maggots till we could ride a bike or walk into knutsford to the tackle shop to get some of our own.
We didn't have any fancy tackle but that didn't matter,the fish weren't smart enough to know the difference,our tackle consisted mainly of old hand me down rods and reels and enough 6lb test to tie up a cow,split shot that was made of real lead(how did we ever survive) that we collected off the discarded lines of someones tangle a few rusty hooks gathered from the same location, a disgorger for removing hooks and lots of beautiful floats,in many shapes and sizes, my favorite were the long slim ones black with a couple of contrasting coloured bands near the top, usually yellow and red or white and red,they came from reed beds tree branches and washed up on the shores from when other fishermen would get snagged or snapped and were not able to recover there float,being a young lad nothing would get in my way of retreaving a float that took my fancy.
The fish we were after were tench,carp or the prize of this pond the mirror carp with their fancy scales.We recieved our education in how to fish,and more importantly how not to fish from the older men who frequented the pond,they were more than happy to show you how to tie the right kind of knot so your hook didn't come of the line when you had a fish on,how to thread the maggots on the hook so they stayed on longer,how to "liven" up the maggots by taking a few and placing them under your tongue for a few minutes to warm them up."Maggots that wiggle attract more fish" they would say, I sometimes wonder if that was just a joke to see if we would really do it.I did,and the maggots really did liven up,but I dont ever remember catching more fish because of it.
We were as poor as church mice but we had a wonderful childhood,I wouldn't trade my found fishing tackle for all the gameboys,cell phones laptops and computers games in the world,and I would like to suggest that all parents take there children fishing,oh yeh and leave the gameboys and cell phones at home,you just might find that you will have something to write about your childhood when you get older.
I wrote this article in memory of my grandmother Doris crumbleholme who selflessly sacrifised her time and energy to raise me and my brother after raising her own children, she made sure we had a childhood that could not be purchased today at any price.She will always be my mum.
(c)copyright 2006 Darren crumbleholme
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Travel Part B